Study Guide

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents Politics

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Politics are an issue in How The García Girls Lost Their Accents in a couple of ways. First of all, Carlos García participates in a failed attempt to overthrow Rafael Trujillo's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Getting caught by Trujillo's secret police force, the SIM, would mean torture, imprisonment, and maybe even death.

Carlos and his family are lucky to escape with their lives to the United States, but he remains traumatized by the experience for the rest of his life. His daughters take up another political cause as American teenagers—feminism. Why shouldn't they have all the freedoms that their male cousins enjoy? They use the same language of "revolution" to describe their fight to win independence from their parents and their Dominican family.

Questions About Politics

  1. Do you think the García sisters are feminists? What does feminism mean in the context of this novel?
  2. The narrator of "A Regular Revolution" hints that "Mami had her own little revolution brewing," because she's been taking business classes. What's so revolutionary about Mami taking business classes?
  3. How much information does the novel give us about the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo? What was life like for Dominicans under his rule?
  4. What does the novel suggest about the history of U.S. involvement in the government of the Dominican Republic?
  5. Why don't the four García sisters try to teach their Dominican aunts and cousins about feminism?

Chew on This

As a young adult, Papi wants to wage a revolution against the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo; with his own family, however, Papi can be pretty dictatorial himself.

The García sisters learn to be feminists because of the freedoms they get to experience as American teenagers.

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